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Business

Walstead subsidiary on knife edge

Walstead Group is entering into a 45-day consultation with its employees at its Walstead Southernprint subsidiary, which could result in the closure of the site.

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Paul Utting, chief executive of Walstead Group

The Group says a “substantial reduction” in magazine printing volume experienced by the UK web offset printing industry has led to a review of its capacity in the UK.

According to Walstead, a reduction in paginations and print runs have caused magazine printing volume to decline by 50% between 2011 and 2018, with a string of unprofitable titles closing.

With the rate of decline continuing into 2019, this trend is predicted to carry on into 2020.

It has only been after much consideration that the decision to consult with the workforce […] has been taken and we very much regret the potential loss of jobs if no alternatives are found

Paul Utting, chief executive of Walstead Group comments: “It has only been after much consideration that the decision to consult with the workforce at Walstead Southernprint has been taken and we very much regret the potential loss of jobs if no alternatives are found.

“However, the UK’s web offset printing sector continues to face significant structural issues and an ongoing reduction in capacity across the industry is inevitable. We are determined to restructure our business to ensure that we remain competitive and can continue to provide a sustainable business to our clients during cycle.”

If the conclusion of the consultation leads to the closure of the Dorset site, the work currently being produced there will be moved to the Group’s remaining three UK sites in Peterborough, Roche and Bicester.

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk or join in with the conversation on Twitter and LinkedIn.


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